Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion

Last week, a crazy news story circulated on the internet about Los Angeles County adopting new legislation that would impose $1000 fines on beach goers who tossed frisbees or footballs. I had visions of writing about the return of Baywatch star, David Hasselhoff in his new role as The Beach Nazi. Every week, his Gestapo-like tactics would snare enemies of the state who thought they had the right to have some fun in the sun.

This sounded like a great topic of ridicule for those kooky Californians. However, the story quickly was tamed by those pesky internet fact-checkers. The reported $1000 citations in the beach ordinance were for things like discharging a firearm or public nudity while footballs and frisbees only garnered a measly $100 fine and that could only incur after a warning was given. So, the $1000 frisbee fine theoretically was possible if the thrower was naked. Or, would that be a combination fine of $1100?

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It’s a funny thing when you try to reverse 30 or 40 years of public policy in a single year. Some people don’t like it.

So, they show up and unfurl banners in protest. They send out nasty emails. They write critical pieces that end up in newspapers.

Such is the life of the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly. The policy shifts that they embarked upon this past year are nothing short of remarkable.

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Colloquialisms come and go but the current usage of “sustainability” appears that it can, well – be sustained. The beauty of the term is that it is a one-word expression with its meaning clearly defined. Two local news stories relate to sustainability. Franklin’s Taste of Scotland (TOS) festival has come to an apparent end after a long run and the Macon County Planning Board looks like it’s going to implode.

There were 15 consecutive incarnations of the Scottish festival. M*A*S*H was a great TV series lasting 11 seasons, but, it too, completed its cycle. In either case, lack of perpetuity is hardly a sign of failure.

 

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As of February 1, 2010, there were a reported 3.8 million words in the Federal tax code or over 800 times the verbiage of the US Constitution. And I thought Tolstoy’s War and Peace (600,000 word est.) was a tough read. Imagine trying to play a game that had rules as extensive as our tax laws and were changing all the time to boot. Let’s see, a bishop can move diagonally as many spaces as possible except on the second move of the game, if the opponent’s queen’s pawn has moved and if the game isn't being timed.

To comply with this gargantuan code, an estimated 6 billion man-hours are needed to process our Federal taxes. We could have every man, woman and child in the state of Arkansas working full time for this task. Their state motto of “The People Rule” could be altered to “The People Decipher the Rules.”

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